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Welcome to the fourth installment
in the series of seven articles explaining how and why the Model Railroad
Museum of Hampton Roads was created and its long range objective.
How do we plan to
achieve our purpose and mission?
It my last article I discussed the
lead up to creating the Museum's purpose and mission statement. Now let’s discuss the Museum’s plan to
achieve our long range objective.
Basic Design: The Museum's long rang objective will require an
estimated 68,000 sq. ft. or greater space containing no less than eight (long
range goal is for up to 15 layouts) well-maintained fully functional model
railroad layouts built and operated by currently established volunteer groups
of model railroaders. Space will be provided for displaying railroad-related
artifacts, teaching rooms for talks on various topics related to railroads and
modeling railroads, a library containing computers and multiple books and
documents that can be used for research, a media room constantly showing
theme-related videos, and a small gift shop selling T-shirts, mugs, train sets,
Organizational Overview: The Museum will be a “not for profit”
educational organization. To achieve this end, the Model Railroad Museum of
Hampton Roads must conceive, develop and implement programs, operating
exhibits, and static displays to foster the hobby of model railroads and
promote the welfare, mutual understanding and public awareness of model
railroading by those actively engaged in the model railroad hobby. This is a multi-phase plan to incorporate and
display G, O, S, HO, N, Z model railroad scales over many years, including a wooden layout for young
children to play. Plus Youth in Model Railroading or Teens in Model Railroaders and Women Model
Railroaders will have a layout in their own scale of choice to display. Additionally, we specifically will utilize
the STEAM knowledge to forge a program whereby youth will build four layouts
through a four phase program to instill converting their knowledge into works
of art for public display. We are in discussion with the local Hampton Roads LEGO
User Group (HARDLUG) and Kids Run Trains, who have shown interest in joining this
project. They may also operate train displays and be able to hold contests, on-hands
training sessions and meetings throughout the year. Should outdoor space be available with the
new facility, it may be possible to include a scale 1 train layout (7 ½” -wide
track). An attraction of this scale will
permit guests to ride a train for a small fee. Available space will determine the physical size of the layout and how
much to charge for longer rides. If
facility space is available, we will enhance the museum and community service
by holding train shows, swap meetings and white elephant sales at least twice a
year and educational hands-on clinics twice a month. Model Railroad Museum of
Hampton Roads would open every Wednesday for FREE public school field trips to
inform youth about the museum and educational benefits through STEAM Program.
Provide a model railroading experience that
educates, inspires, and brings joy to all ages.
To share and expand the model railroading
experience as an avenue for human creativity.
Establish a base of regular visitors.
Partner with organizations that support the
Construct operating layouts for displays and
Develop exhibits and programs that will attract
diverse groups from Tidewater area, including local residents and tourists.
Attain fiscal stability.
Path to Success:
Support the teaching and learning of model
Provide an advanced technical interactive
experience that enhances learning by using Science, Technology, Engineering,
Art and Mathematics (STEAM) through youth constructing layouts from scratch.
Establish the Model Railroad of Hampton Roads as
an indispensable resource regarding railroad history in and around Tidewater.
Enhance our guests’ experience in model
railroading with multi-scale layout displays.
Implement a traveling exhibit that would be
available at different locations on specified dates. Many museums do this to
raise funds and to increase public awareness of their museum. It would brand
itself as a unique niche within the Hampton Roads museum market.
Partnership with local, state and national
organizations to foster enhancements to the Museum to maintain a fresh museum
for visitors to enjoy for many years.
Stay tuned for more information on
our progress in the next newsletter. One
important note is that we can’t do this without community support. If you are interested and wish to provide
support for a new Model Railroad Museum in the Hampton Roads, a place where you
and your family could visit regularly to view and run trains and marvel the craftsmanship
and art of the 3-D landscaping, to learn about model railroading and the history
of trains in this area, please consider a tax deductible donation. Every dollar helps the Museum achieve its
goal to locate a facility to rent or purchase!
Fred Humphrey, President
What Are Our Goals? By Warren Leister
To expose people to the most efficient and economical mode of mass transportation in existence, the modern railroad industry, and also to highlight the history of railroading in general, and also specifically to share, protect, and preserve the rich railroad history of Hampton Roads and the commonwealth of Virginia which is second to none in the United States.
To introduce model railroading to the general public as not only a potentially exciting and fulfilling lifelong hobby, but also as a valuable educational venue for children using STEM/STEAM concepts to aid them in: developing the capacity to take thoughtful risks, engaging in experimental learning, persistence in problem solving, embracing collaboration with team building, and experiencing creative building processes. STEAM uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding students in learning, inquiry and exploration.
Demonstrate and teach the following skills and technologies: carpentry, art, model design/construction, electricity, researching/documenting history through records/artifacts, computer driven railroad/transportation simulator apps, and electronics through clinics, courses and other multi-media including videos as a community service.
To create a highly unique and successful tourist exhibit and experience that we hope will someday operate at a national level.
We are currently making plans to provide a traveling exhibit as one of our first services to the community. This exhibit will contain layouts of multiple scales (O, HO, N, Z) including modules of the popular HO scale train displays that can be connected together to form a large layout wherever it is requested. It could be at a church, a country club, library, museum, nursing facility - anywhere that has the space and the desire for it. These will be fully functioning model railroads, some of which will be ready for operation by visitors.
In addition, we will be offering another service around the Holidays of setting up Christmas train displays, including trains around trees, trains for parties, conventions or for any other venue.
Prices are very reasonable are very negotiable depending on the situation.
On November 1, 1899, the N&S bought the Norfolk,
Virginia Beach and Southern Railroad, running east from Norfolk
to Virginia Beach on
the Atlantic Ocean.
An extension parallel to the oceanfront took the line north from Virginia Beach
to Cape Henry in 1902, but two years later
the N&S bought the competing Chesapeake Transit Company which had a
line from Norfolk to Cape Henry via the Lynnhaven Inlet area and hence to
Virginia Beach, and abandoned its duplicative trackage between Cape Henry and
Virginia Beach. The importance of passenger rail service to the Oceanfront area
to Virginia Beach's resort growth in the late 19th and early 20th century was
eclipsed only in 1922 by the construction of the paved Virginia Beach
Boulevard roadway between the Oceanfront area and Norfolk.
The Raleigh and Eastern North Carolina Railroad was
organized in 1903 and renamed the Raleigh and Pamlico Sound Railroad in 1905.
In 1906, it built a line from the end of the N&S at Washington south
as well as a completely separated line from Raleigh east
On November 24, 1906, the Norfolk and Southern Railway was
formed as a consolidation of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad with the Raleigh
and Pamlico Sound Railroad and several other companies:
The company again entered receivership in 1908, and in a
1910 reorganization returned to the 1883 name: Norfolk Southern Railroad. That
same year it built a long branch from Chocowinity (also
known as Marsden) on the main line south of Washington west to the isolated
section to Raleigh at Zebulon (that became the main line to Charlotte via
Raleigh, while the old line to New Bern became a branch). Several shorter
branches also opened that year - from Bayboro south
from Pinetown on
the main line east to Bishops Cross on the line to Belhaven,
and from Mackeys east to Columbia (as
well as a trestle across
the Albemarle Sound between Mackeys and Edenton).
The Egypt Railroad was chartered June 14, 1890, and opened
October 15, 1891, running a short distance from Colon on
the Seaboard Air
Line Railroad main line west to Cumnock.
It was leased to the Raleigh and Western Railway, another short line continuing
west from Cumnock to Harpers
Crossroads, on September 6, 1893. The company entered receivership
in 1907 and operations west of Cumnock were suspended in 1908. The Egypt
Railroad was reorganized April 1, 1910, as the Sanford and Troy Railroad.
The Durham and Charlotte Railroad was chartered March 2,
1893, and planned to connect the two cities named with the railroad. On July
15, 1896, it bought the Glendon and Gulf Railroad, running from Gulf (west
of Cumnock) southwest to Glendon.
After reaching Elise (Robbins)
in 1899, the Durham and Charlotte Railroad was building towards Star. The
company endured several years of litigation over the right-of-way with a Wright
Tramway, which was built in 1896. The tramway was removed in 1901 and the
Durham and Charlotte Railroad was then built to Star by 1902. Some time after
1900 it bought the former Raleigh and Western Railway right-of-way and
rebuilt the line from Cumnock to Gulf, and built an extension from Star
southwest to Troy.
In November 1911, the NSRR formed the Raleigh, Charlotte
and Southern Railway (RC&S) as a consolidation of several smaller
companies; the RC&S was merged into the NSR in fall 1912. The RC&S was
made up of the Sanford and Troy Railroad, Durham and Charlotte Railroad, and
the following lines:
At the time, only the Raleigh and Southport Railway
connected to the other NSRR lines. In 1914 the NSRR built a line from Varina on
the former R&S southwest to Colon and from Mount Gilead west to Charlotte,
giving it a continuous line, using the former S&T, D&C and branch of
the A&A from Colon to Mount Gilead.
Another receivership came in 1932, and in 1935 it defaulted
on its lease of the Atlantic
and North Carolina Railroad, which was reincorporated November 16 of
that year. Many branch lines were abandoned or sold during that period, such as
the local lines in Suffolk, Virginia, which were sold to
the Virginian Railway in
1940. On January 21, 1942, the company was reorganized for the last time as the
Norfolk Southern Railway. In 1954, the railroad retired its last steam
locomotive from revenue service.
On January 1, 1974, the Southern Railway bought
the Norfolk Southern Railroad and merged it into the Carolina
and Northwestern Railway, but kept the Norfolk Southern Railway
name. In 1982 the Carolina and Northwestern name was brought back to free up
the Norfolk Southern name for the planned merger of the Southern Railway with
the Norfolk and
Western Railway. The new Norfolk Southern
Railway was formed in 1982. While the name had once represented
simply the Virginia and North Carolina based railroad which ran south from
Norfolk to Charlotte, it was now a combination of the names of the two
merged Class I railroads.
Norfolk Southern still owns the main line from Gulf (near
Cumnock) northeast to Raleigh. The part from Gulf west to Charlotte (as well as
the branch to Aberdeen) is now the Aberdeen,
Carolina and Western Railway, the part from Edenton north to Norfolk
is now the Chesapeake
and Albemarle Railroad, and the Belhaven-Pinetown branch as well as
the Plymouth-Raleigh segment is now operated by the Carolina Coastal
Railway. The line between Plymouth and Edenton has been removed, with the famous Albemarle Sound
Trestle having been demolished in the late 1980s.
How to Build Your Own Model Railroad
There are lots of resources out there that can provide information about model railroading. One of the most comprehensive websites that explains all the basics and more about getting started in the hobby is at www.building-your-model-railroad.com. The information presented there is entirely free, and is arguably one of the most complete step-by-step tutorials you can find on how to build your own model railroad.
We gratefully welcome our newest volunteer Board members:
Greg Leiphart - Director of Education
Warren Leister - Railroad Historian
With their help, we can expand our services, sharpen our educational goals, and continue to move forward in our progress to provide a unique service to the community through model railroading.
If you wish to become more engaged as a model railroader, consider joining the NMRA.org, the main website of the National Model Railroad Association. All of the standards for model railroading are provided here along with tons of educational material and resources. Our Museum is not affiliated with the NMRA, but I mention it here because it is such a good reference, and provides a path to excellence for model railroaders. Many of us at the Museum are members, but you do not have to be a member of the NMRA to be a member of the Museum.
Thank you so much for reading our newsletter! We truly appreciate your interest and support. Please let us know if you would like more information.
Greg Warth, email@example.com
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The official newsletter for the Model Railroad Museum of Hampton Roads
In the last mailout of the newsletter, Making Tracks, the link to the newsletter went to the January issue rather than the newest February issue. This has been corrected on the Back Issues page. My ap…